Not Boring: Faces of Immersion. Children’s Faces Filmed While Playing Video Games

Have you ever “leaned into” a video game, maybe while playing a car racing game? If so, you know the feeling: total immersion.  Bill Seng showed us this video from a recent New York Times post during our iPad pilot:


He asked us if we ever saw faces like this in our classroom.  I have seen my students make these faces.

Then I started thinking about when I saw these types of immersion faces, then I started thinking about how often I see those faces, then I started thinking about the faces I see when I lecture, then I thought about how often I lecture.  I’d say that I lecture less than 15% of total class time, but in that 15% I’ve seen some awfully bored faces, students napping, and avoidance behaviors.

The immersion face is always during project work and performance: experiential learning at its best.

I am attempting a totally flipped (video instruction tutorials for all concepts, learned at intervals, self-paced for faster, more interested students) no-lecture classroom this year.  Time spent in the room will be totally task and project based.

My anonymous course evaluations submitted by students have all shown the same sentiment.  Drop the lecture, give us more projects.

I know the overall level of productiveness and the products students are creating have improved with my current teaching style, but still so many students are not fully satisfied with the course.

Every year I teach foundation skills and have students analyze and refine their work more and more, and get to less projects.  Last year was the worst year in terms of how many projects my classes worked on.

This year will be DIFFERENT.  I’m not sure if that is better, but I’ll report back on it at the end of the year.

I printed the results of the study by Katherine Weber and Rodney Custer:

Gender-based Preferences toward Technology Education Content, Activities, and Instructional Methods

This will be sitting in a frame on my desk as a reminder:


I’m excited for change.  I’ll let you know if anything interesting happens…

Please share your thoughts on dropping lecture and creating instructional video, interactive learning (or games) and project based-experiential learning.


One response to “Not Boring: Faces of Immersion. Children’s Faces Filmed While Playing Video Games

  1. Using technology is definetly the way to develop love of learning with kids and enrich their education. You can see these same faces on your own students when you give them an interactive activity on the computer and take them to the media center or a computer room.

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